DULUTH, Minn. - The Bulldogs were collectively sick and tired of being told their recent duels against Ohio State University had favored the road team, so they made sure to do something about it Friday night.
The University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team took game one from the Buckeyes by a 1-0 margin in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Associations playoffs at AMSOIL Arena. The win keeps UMD unbeaten against OSU this season in five skates (3-0-2) and pushes the Bulldogs to 14-13-6 overall this year.
After a scoreless opening period, UMD beat the Buckeyes to the scoreboard 5:26 into the second stanza on senior forward Jamie Kenyon's team-high 15th goal of the year. Rookie winger Bailey Wright found herself just off the right post when the puck took a hard bounce off the boards behind the net. Wright's initial attempt to swat it clanked off the near pipe, resulting in far-side rebound that Kenyon, with a knack for patrolling the the doorstep, buried.
A penalty-riddled third period for OSU resulted in 21 minutes of infractions, but handed UMD just one full power-play. After the Bulldogs outshot the Buckeyes 20-16 in the first two periods, sophomore netminder Kayla Black was impressive between the pipes for UMD, turning away all 10 shots she faced in the final period and all 26 OSU attempts that actually made it on goal. The Bulldogs blocked a noticeable 15 shots, preventing the puck in those instances from ever reaching Black. The Buckeyes just nipped UMD in shots 26-25, but Black earned her ninth shutout as a Bulldog and career-high fifth for the season.
UMD will play for the series sweep tomorrow night at AMSOIL, with the puck dropping in the second game of the series at 6:07 p.m.